Greece is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Sea of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands. The country consists of nine traditional geographic regions, and has a population of approximately 10.7 million.
Phytogeographically, Greece belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the East Mediterranean province of the Mediterranean Region and the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature and the European Environment Agency, the territory of Greece can be subdivided into six ecoregions: the Illyrian deciduous forests, Pindus Mountains mixed forests, Balkan mixed forests, Rhodope montane mixed forests, Aegean and Western Turkey sclerophyllous and mixed forests, and Crete Mediterranean forests. It had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.6/10, ranking it 70th globally out of 172 countries.
Larger, carnivorous mammals found in Greece include the European wildcat, the Balkan lynx, the red fox, the golden jackal, the grey wolf, the Eurasian brown bear, the American mink, the least weasel, the European polecat, the marbled polecat, the beech marten, the European pine marten, the European badger, the Eurasian otter and about twenty species of bat. The island of Gyaros is the breeding area for the largest population of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal, and about fifteen species of whales, dolphins and porpoises are reported in Greek waters.
Ungulates found in Greece include the wild boar, the red deer, the fallow deer, the roe deer, the chamois and the endangered Cretan ibex. Also present are the European rabbit and the European hare, the southern white-breasted hedgehog and the northern white-breasted hedgehog, the European mole, some ten species of shrew and around thirty species of rodent (squirrels, dormice, mice, rats and voles).
With its varied topography and habitats, Greece has a rich bird fauna. It is a meeting point for birds of three continents, the southern limit for some species and the northern limit for others. Beside the resident bird populations, many migratory species visit the country as they move seasonally between their breeding grounds and their overwintering areas. About 450 species of bird have been recorded in Greece. The Dadia Forest in the northeast is an important area for birds of prey, where four species of vulture are among the thirty-six diurnal species of raptor that have been recorded.
Birds commonly found in the maquis shrubland include the eastern subalpine and Rüppell's warblers, the cirl, rock and black-headed buntings, and the rock, red-legged and chukar partridges. Wetland birds are well catered for by a number of Ramsar sites such as Lake Kerkini, the Nestos Delta, and the Evros Delta and their freshwater marshes, lakes, brackish lagoons, saltmarshes and mudflats.
Greece's rivers are brimming with aquatic wildlife too, with a diverse range of endemic freshwater fishes, around 160 species were listed in 2015. There are also several species of lampreys, notably three species of lamprey endemic to Greece; the Epirus brook lamprey, Greek brook lamprey and Almopaios brook lamprey. Lake inhabitants include the endemic Macedonian shad, formerly a fish that was commercially fished. Within the cyprinid fishes, there is an endemic barbel; the Evia barbel, found only on Evia Island, critically endangered and suffering from increasing droughts and barriers to movement.